Back to news
NHRA Pro Stock Rookie Tanner Gray Readies for Race Day at The Midwest Nationals
NHRA Pro Stock Rookie Tanner Gray Readies for Race Day at The Midwest Nationals
September 30, 2017
NHRA Pro Stock Rookie Tanner Gray Readies for Race Day at The Midwest Nationals
St. Louis, IL (September 30, 2017) - Qualifying at the Sixth Annual AAA Insurance NHRA Midwest Nationals at Gateway Motorsports Park in Madison, IL featured sell out crowds and ideal conditions for fast naturally aspirated race cars. For Pro Stock rookie Tanner Gray, consistency and power would be the main focus of his qualifying efforts.
The Gray Motorsports Valvoline Chevrolet Camaro team would use both of Friday’s qualifying efforts to gain knowledge on track conditions and gather car data. Between sessions, the team made an engine change, hoping to improve their qualifying positions and eventually ending the day qualified in the seventh spot.
“Keeping a winning mentality I would say is the most difficult thing to do after an inconsistent run,” Tanner Gray said. “My team does a really great job at remaining even and under control. They don’t let the pressure get to them. I understand what the countdown pressure is all about now. Coming into this deal, I didn’t think there would be too much pressure. Everyone has elevated their game. Instead of pressure, I consider it motivation. It motivates me to perform better.”
Saturday’s qualifying efforts would improve. Tanner Gray would run his fastest pass of the weekend during the third session at 6.525 seconds and 211.23 mph. This ultimately secured his raceday starting position of sixth, setting up a first round matchup with Deric Kramer.
“We struggled to find power during Q1 and Q2,” Gray said. “Between rounds we even changed motors. Thankfully the conditions were good today and allowed us the opportunity to find the power that we need in preparation for race day.”
Mello Yello Drag Racing Series final eliminations are scheduled for 11 a.m. on Sunday, Oct. 1. The broadcast of the Mello Yello Drag Racing Series can be found Sunday, Oct. 1, FS1 will televise three hours of live finals coverage starting at 2:00 p.m. (ET). 
Statistic Junkie
Tanner Gray
            Pts         Events   Wins   Rup     Semi     Qtr.   1st rd.    Poles    DNQ   W/L
2017    3rd              20          5         1         7           5          2                     0      41-15
Best Time, Speed: 6.501 seconds, (2017 NHRA New England Nationals); 213.37 mph (Gatornationals 2017) Last event (September 22-24, Reading): Qualified No. 3, Quarterfinals (Greg Anderson) 
Pro Stock Car 
1. Bo Butner          2307 ----
2. Greg Anderson  2266 -41
3. Tanner Gray     2265 -42
4Jason Line         2217 -90
5. Drew Skillman  2169 -138
6. Erica Enders      2144 -163
7. Allen Johnson    2119 -188
8. Jeg Coughlin Jr  2116 -191
9. Chris McGaha  2067 -240
10. Vincent Nobile  2052 -255
Tanner Gray, at the age of 17 years old, won his first NHRA Pro Stock national event on April 2, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. This accomplishment made Tanner Gray the youngest driver ever to win a NHRA professional event. He has since had a birthday, April 15, and is currently 18 years old.